An Electronic Journal of Experimental LitHum Texts

From the editor:

Why should we read the “classics?” The question has been at the center of recent debates about Columbia’s core curriculum and its emphasis on the Western canon of literary texts.

As I was teaching these works – from Homer’s Illiad to Borges’ Ficciones -- to my Literature Humanities class, my students hinted at one possible answer to the controversial question: We read – and re-read – the classics because they have an almost magical power to spark ideas and raise questions. We spent hours debating whether Odysseus was ethnocentric, Dante an unscrupulous photojournalist, Faust a decadent dandy.

Above all, I was surprised by the passion with which young people respond to these texts. My students would always find a point in Herodotus or Sophocles, in Boccaccio or Borges, which seemed surprisingly relevant for modern readers. Ovid, someone observed, was really not that different from glossy magazines offering love advice to teenagers; Montaigne, others intimated, would have much to say about food, jocks, and tour groups on Columbia campus. A group of Dante fans decided that New York had much in common with the topography of the Inferno, as they show in a web project that includes texts and photographs.

It was then that my students and I decided to create Quixotic: A Electronic Journal of LitHum Texts as a forum to share their work with others. The journal, of course, hints at a few reasons why we should read and re-read the classics.

Ruben Gallo

You are visitor: [Aaddzz Counter]